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(Pictured above: Betse Ellis and Jason Beers)
The grit of Americana music is in the story. A person's entire life can be summed up in 3 of 4 minutes. The most joyous of moments, the inexplicably painful experiences, the randomly bizarre episodes, all wrapped up in a neat little structure of verses and choruses. Last Friday at The Brick, an attentive crowd listened as 3 different groups of songwriters took the stage with handfuls of stories to tell.
The night got off to a fast-paced start with a solo set from Betse Ellis, the fiercest fiddle player in Kansas City and likely beyond. With the talent, the material, and the personality to enhance it, a solo set from Ellis can be far more captivating than watching many full bands. As an original member of The Wilders, Ellis has the experience and the chutzpah to command a stage by implementing a mix of her own tunes and classics. Her set included songs from artists like The Doc Watson Family and John Hartford, along with a few originals. These songs ran the gamut of humorous ("Drunkard's Hiccups"), insightful ("It's A Hard Time in This World," a song she played on tenor guitar), yet always entertaining. Ellis closed out her set with a rendition of The Clash's "Straight To Hell" - a fine example of her rock influences tinged with a traditional flare and culminating in an amusing and accessible flavor.
|Michelle is editor-in-chief of The Deli - Kansas City. She also has a weekly column with The Kansas City Star and reviews music for Ink. She plays with Deco Auto, Drew Black and Dirty Electric, and Dolls on Fire. In her spare time, she has no spare time, but fantasizes of the day where she can sleep and eat and travel to places where she can sleep and eat some more.|
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